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Mr. Brennan 20, John Brennan 12, Brennan 10, Cia 8, Feinstein 7, Hagel 6, Pakistan 5, Us 5, Dianne Feinstein 5, Rubio 5, Wyden 4, Yemen 4, U.s. 4, Iran 3, America 3, Virginia 3, Allstate 3, Keith 3, North Korea 2, Algeria 2,
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  MSNBC    News Nation    News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and  
   informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.  

    February 7, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00pm PST  

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hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. drones set to take center stage at john brennan's con fir hags hearing starting up in about 30 minutes from now. this, in fact, a live picture from inside the hearing room on capitol hill. our first read team says, quote, we are likely to learn more about america's drone war and public setting than we ever have before. and just a short time ago, the administration briefed lawmakers on the classified memo providing the rationale for drone strikes targeting americans linked to al qaeda and pressure of both parties including democratic senator widen who vowed to, quote, pull out all the stops to get the answers he wants. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill
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them. i don't think that's too much to ask as one person said and this idea that security and liberty are mutually exclusive, that you can have only one or the other is something i reject. >> brennan also expected to face tough questions on the role in bush administration's use of torture and for those controversial leaks reportedly from the obama white house. in his questionnaire for the senate committee, brennan admits he was interviewed about, quote, possible unauthorized disclosures of information to reporters about cyberattacks against iran and possible unauthorized disclosures of information to reporters about a foiled bomb plot tied to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. let's bring in the political panel, chris anders, senior legislative counsel and michael isikoff. michael, a lot happened certainly since you broke that news of what was in this memo including this move by the white house. what do we make of at least what
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we're seeing right before bren anna nicole's confirmation hearing in regards to the white house's latest move here? >> well, first of all, it was an important step that the white house took because until last night, the official position of the administration is they couldn't even confirm or deny the existence of such a memo. in fact, they said that it's in and of itself was a classified matter so by putting out the statement last night that they were going to let the house and senate intelligence members review the memo, they were declassifying the fact that the memo exists. now that said, while that's been applauded as an important step forward by wyden and others, there're chafing my members of congress about the restrictions put on the access to this memo. it's only house and senate intelligence committee members. they can go in to a classified skiff, classified room and review it.
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they cannot bring their staff. and they kabt talk about it after they have read it. they must leave it there and consequently when this confirmation hearing of brennan begins this afternoon, no senators can ask him about anything they might have read in that memo because it's remaining classified. on top of that, as i said before, only intelligence committee members to review it. the judiciary committee asked to have access to this and as of this moment they do not so while it is from the point of view of people want to see more disclosure about the drone program, this might be a step in the right direction. it's still leaving a lot of questions unanswered about -- >> absolutely. >> about what's in that memo. >> michael, specifically senator on wyden on today an i'm sure you heard the sound bite we played in the intro saying that every american has the right to
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know when its government believes it's allowed to kill them and honed in on the portion of the report where you highlighted the rationale is that it's an imminent threat, doesn't have to be a plan in the making with specific details. just an imminent threat which is still hanging in the air and makes some people including this senator uncomfortable. >> exactly. what the justice department white paper we reported on said was -- articulated what they called a broader concept of imminence than direct intelligence of an active plot against the united states and what a number of critics have said since is this leaves a lot of wiggle room and a lot of latitude for defining what is an imminent threat. if you don't have -- to most people it means something is about to happen. but they've redefined imminence in this justice department white paper to suggest something much broader, based on past
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activities and assumptions that if somebody was involved in past activities of planning for a violent attack it can be assumed they are currently involved in such activities if they haven't renounced them. >> all right. and let me bring in chris anders. thes senior legislative counsel for the american civil liberties union. thank you for joining us, as well. >> thank you. >> when you hear concerns, is that similar to what the aclu takes issue with at this point? >> i think senator wyden is right. it's right that the president turned this over even if it's under this very restrictive circumstances but this is something he could have done two years ago. statutorily, there's a federal law a that says that this kind of information has to be given to the senate intelligence committee. but that's really not enough. what transparency should be about is every american citizen should know about this -- about this memo and be able to read at
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least the legal reasoning behind it because this is about giving the president or other informed high-level officials the ability to order the killing of an american citizen without any due process of law. there is no court in the land, no court in the united states, no court in the world that i think would ever accept the legal reasoning in this memo as a -- as what constitutes self defense for purposes of law. this is a very warped view of the law and it's something that because so much is at stake, lives of american citizens are at stake and all should be put in the hands and are being put in it hands of one person and even if you trust president obama with this power, they're setting it up for the future so that every president in the future will have this power to decide whether american citizen lives or dies. >> how much of a concern to you and my colleague andrea mitchell pointed this out that it's not that the white house is not
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taking this seriously but looking at the public sentiment and the lack of if you will outrage of the public, for example, that we're not seeing does that at all give you pause or is it in your view that people don't quite understand that this is not about this administration, this is about other administrations and looking down the line here? >> oh, i think if you were to poll today and by next week, i think things are very different. i think things are really changing this week and in large part due to michael isikoff getting the memo and releasing it. this is a huge issue. the white house is very worried about this. the only reason the memo given to the senate intelligence committee members to read today is because they're worried that this nomination is going to go down. this would be the first cabinet-level appointment -- nomination by president obama that is in serious, serious trouble of not moving forward to that cabinet nomination, i want to play what mr. brennan said
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defending drones, april 30th, 2012. let me play it, please. >> targeted strikes come form to the principle of humanity which requires us to use weapons that will not inflict unnecessary suffering. for all these reasons, i suggest to you that these targeted strikes against al qaeda terrorists are indeed ethical and just. >> if that is the answer we hear today from mr. brennan, what would your response be? >> well, look. every american deserves to see what the rules are. if we are saying we comply with the rule of law and the president said in the inauguration speech, people should know what the law is and the rules and law is hidden and just a tip of the iceberg they're looking at the justice department opinion. mr. brennan has put together an entire playbook and sounds like a video game and an entire playbook on when drones can be used and when they cannot be used and how the killing program
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will operate and something he just developed and sitting in the white house somewhere. these are the rules moved forward and designed to outlast the administration so any future president could also take over the same unbelievably broad powers. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> let's bring in senator jim rich of idaho, a member of the senate intelligence committee. questioning brennan. thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> your colleague lindsey graham said in part to his comments to our own casey hunt we should be totally supportive of the president's actions. i also want to play what john bolton said regarding the obama counterterrorism effort. let me play it and get your reaction to both of those. >> the approach that the obama administration is following is consistent with and really derived from the bush administration approach to the war on terror and i think it's entirely sensible. >> do you agree with that?
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lindsey graham saying totally sensible. >> we are fighting a war that's much different than the classic and traditional wars that we have fought in the past. the result of that is the methods of fighting that war and the way that americans are involved in the war are different than what they have in the past. and so, we're really in a process today of a much maturing way of handling these, of looking at them. i think there's going to be a robust discussion amongst the american people as to how we actually do that. what you're seeing with the brennan nomination hearing today is going to be the tip of the iceberg. we've been discussing this for a long time. >> yes. >> within the intelligence committee. >> and the president directed as we discussed the justice department to give congressional intelligence committee access to
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the classified memos and i want to play what the president said october 18th, 2012, regarding working with congress and coming up with a legal definition of what we're discussing. let me play it. >> one of the things that we have got to do is put a legal architect which you are in place and we need congressional help to do that to make sure that not only am i reined in but any president in terms of the decisions we are making. >> has there been the congressional help the president referred to? >> there's not but having said that i couldn't agree with the president more. this is a constitutional country. regardless of what we do, we have to do it within the confines of the united states constitution, particularly as direct violence against americans is constrained by that constitution. so we're going to have a discussion of this. and this is just the very, very beginning of that discussion. >> and i know part of the discussion for you are alleged leaks from the white house.
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that's a part of the questioning you plan to have today with brennan. >> well, i will. i've already done some of that. i met with him privately and done that within the intelligence committee. obviously, what's going to be done is for public consumption and there will be discussions of leaks. >> were your questions posed to mr. brennan private answered adequately for you? >> no. >> so we'll see a follow-up lately? >> probably. >> i love how you're so cagey. >> thank you. >> republicans force a delay on today's vote on hagel's nomination for defense secretary and it is not for the reasons that came up so frequently in the hearing. we have details on the hold-up with hagel. when's going on there? plus, the numbers are in. a new poll reveals americans are overwhelmingly in support of universal background checks for gun buyers. will the nra ignore the people and the polls and continue to
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fight background checks. the state of the union five days away. how would you finish this sentence? the state of our union is -- take a picture of yourself. holding up your answer and submit to facebook.com/msnbc or share it on twitter using the hashtag sotuis. my bad. tell me you have good insurance. yup, i've got... [ voice of dennis ] ...allstate. really? i was afraid you'd have some cut-rate policy. nope, i've got... [ voice of dennis ] the allstate value plan. it's their most affordable car insurance -- and you still get an allstate agent. i too have... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. [ normal voice ] same agent and everything. it's like we're connected. no we're not. yeah, we are. no, we're not. ♪ ask an allstate agent about the value plan. are you in good hands? looks like you're in a pickle. yeah.
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welcome back. president obama may have previewed some of what he will say on immigration an guns touz's state of the union address while speaking just in the past hour at a conference the house democratic caucus. >> we need to get immigration reform done. and i'm going to be pushing hard to get it done.
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early. and we've got to be mindful about steps we can take to end the cycle of gun violence in this country. >> those comments come as a new poll on both issues is released today. on gun control, quinnipiac poll shows americans support background checks for all buyers, 92% in favor. 7% stand opposed. on immigration reform, 56% favor allowing immigrants to stay and be given a path to citizenship. 10% say those immigrants should be allowed to stay and not allowed to be citizens. 30% say those immigrants should be made to leave. joining me now is keith boykin and lois romano. thank you both for joining us. >> hey, tamron. >> 92% support this as far as ban on high capacity magazines, 56 pst, ban on assault weapons,
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56%. how does the nra stand in opposition to let's just single out universal background check? >> they can't. i mean -- >> they have. >> they are but they can't continue. 89% of republicans actually support this idea of universal background checks and wayne lapierre himself when he was testifying about this on behalf of the nra years ago said he was in favor of universal background checks so at least have some consistency about this. clearly, the american people are standing in favor of this. how can 435 people in the house of representatives stand in the way of what the overwhelming majority of the american people want? >> with that said, looking again at legislation, we have talked a lot about what this does to this country, how it makes us feel. we know this but it has to move along to some kind of legislation in your opinion from what we have seen thus far, and combined with this poll, is that the heart of what we're looking at eventually, universal
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background check? major legislation that comes out of this? >> ultimately, i think there's a compromise and mental health care, service pros vided. >> sure. >> a background check. i think they're going to try to do high capacity magazines. i don't know if they get the assault weapons ban but a majority of americans support that. that's the trickier question. i can't imagine nothing will happen on this. even michelle obama going to meet with the victim who was killed after being -- performing at the inauguration last week so i think that the american people are seeing this day after day an they want some action. >> lois, when the same poll asked which person or group better reflects your views on guns, 43% said president obama. best reflects their views on guns. 46% say the nra does. reconcile that with universal background checks being supported 92%. how does this make sense? >> you know, i can't answer that. there was a lot of other numbers
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in this poll that kind of contradicted each other, too. you know, i will say that, you know, that there's probably a good half of the country that thinks that president obama is very liberal. and so, somewhere in there they're equating that he wants a lot more than just universal background checks. that he's asking for more to be banned and so that they fall somewhere in the middle between he and the nra. >> as i mentioned, the state of the union tuesday. the president during his inauguration address mentioned newtown but did not go in to great detail. we have seen him on the road now for the first time outside of washington, d.c. when he went to minneapolis. but with the state of the union address and hearing a little bit of what we heard today, how does he wrap it all up? not in a tidy bow but one to get some kind of legislation and pressure on congress now? as the clock is ticking here because he -- with budget issues and immigration, a lot going on here.
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>> well, he asked for as much as he can get. i'm willing to bet he's going to have some newtown parents there sitting in the box with mrs. obama. and basically, this is a negotiation as keith said so he'll ask for everything on this and then hope to, you know, come out some place in the middle. i'll tell you agreeing with keith a lot of republicans now are for universal background checks and they believe that's the one thing to get. that's low-hanging fruit. i'm not sure the high clip magazines can get through but i think the universal checks can get through this congress. >> on to immigration and keith mentioned the poll shows 56% favor allowing illegal immigrants already in the united states to stay and be given a path of citizenship but i want to bring up the number who's best handling immigration. 46% say president obama. 41% say republicans in congress. that is awfully close. is this due to marco rubio and some of the backtracking, flip
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flopping, whatever term you choose to associate with it? but the change in the republican party. >> i think it's because there are two different policies goal being reflected in immigration discussion. one about securing the borders and the sense republicans are stronger on that. whether or not that's the sense. and one about a pathway for citizenship of people here and there's a sense that the democrats are stronger on that so i think that the public is weighing the two options. think they that the president is best candidate and person for dealing with immigration of people here and republicans may be better for border security and the president has to show the cards on that, too. >> we hear democrats like yourself saying fewer people are sneaking in to the country and no proof the administration is weaker or weak on immigration or illegal immigration. >> that's a hard argument to make, too. the truth is more deportations under this administration but that's something the democrat -- the president doesn't want to tout because that offends a lot
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of latinos. >> is the it the rubio effect? you have this article, "time" cover they call marco rubio the republican savior. i think two weeks ago it was chris christie. now mark rubio. he tweeted out, there's only one savior and it is not me. i love that he needed to tell us but -- >> he's playing a role. i also suspect that this poll was taken after the eight senators came out in a very bipartisan fashion, you know, and rubio was there and john mccain was there. so i think the republicans, the smart republicans, of which rubio is one, are seeing, you know, they just came out of a very bruising election and just slaughtered among latinos and i think they're out there all the time. they're beating the drums. yes, rubio is a big part of that. >> you called him the lynchpin
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in this effort. >> i didn't call him that. senator flake did. jeff flake. he said that basically the gang of eight that have gotten together has to stay together for any legislation to pass. and he said that he believed that, you know, they were really fortunate to have rubio signed on because he was the lynchpin in the effort. meaning, you know, if he speaks everyone listens. >> you are right. good thing you know your article better than i do. i just put whole words in your mouth. >> that's all right. >> it sounded good either way. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you, keith. up next, the hold-up on hagel. why republicans delayed today ease vote on defense secretary nominee hagel this as a republican from his own home state coming out against him and minutes away from what's expected to be a heating c confirmation hearing of john brennan. set to face tough questions on
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america's drone war. harsh interrogation techniques that derailed. we'll bring you live coverage. but first, here's a look at the markets. come on, nowadays lots of people go by themselves. no they don't. hey son. have fun tonight. ♪ ♪ back against the wall ♪ ain't nothin to me ♪ ain't nothin to me [ crowd murmurs ] hey! ♪ [ howls ] ♪
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the testimony, quote, confusing and contradictory. joining me now live domi n ico. looks like a protester is being removed. senator feinstein asked for protesters to be removed from the room. i was not able to catch a glimpse of the banner they were holding. it's not unusual to see these disruptions. but we'll get more on exactly what was going on there but these are live pictures right now. you hear the gavel but just quickly -- let's just -- we were going to talk about hagel but i want to talk about brennan. you are expecting fireworks, right? that's what we've been talking about. >> i think we expect brennan to be confirmed, especially considering polls on drones, for example, show 83% of americans a year ago support the president's
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use of drones overseas. that doesn't mean that there isn't a significant and deep disaffection for the use of them or, for example, we talked about it yesterday, or the which are or enhanced interrogation techniques as the bush administration called it. all of that is stuff john brennan knows a heck of a lot about and people will be outraged he is president obama's nominee. >> we discussed this prior but originally we thought, you know, the tougher questions would come with harsh interrogations and then you had the stunning development, michael isikoff giving exclusive details on the so-called white paper and then took center stage if you will and then you pointed out in our first read and perhaps talk or hear more about the drone program for this country than ever discussed publicly. >> yeah. look. i mean, i think the drone program is obviously something that has been keyed to president obama's foreign policy in as far
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as being able to take out terrorist where is he doesn't have to send u.s. troops and john brennan was an architect of that strategy. of course, controversial because there are innocent civilians who can get caught up in that as "the new york times" written about earlier this week, as well. that's obviously where some of this is coming from but the question americans face is would you rather have american troops and boots on the ground in yemen and pakistan or the unmanned drones taking on this responsibility? >> thank you very much. i appreciate you changing conversations in the middle of everything. we'll have plenty of time i'm sure to talk about chuck hagel. meantime, let's take the audience to the senate hearing and senator dianne feinstein. >> because of the added importance of having steady leadership at an organization that conducts most of its business outside of the public arena.
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intelligence is critical to the successful draw down in afghanistan, to the brutal war going on within's syria's borders, across north africa where the attacks of benghazi and hostage situation in algeria threaten to spread in to the next front of al qaeda and its affiliated groups. for counterterrorism operations around the world, in the efforts by the united states and others to prevent the gain and spread of weapons of massive destruction. in iran, north korea and other states. and in addressing emerging threats in space, cyberspace and elsewhere around the globe. to confront these challenges, and to lead the cia through a difficult budget tear period after a decade of major budget increases, president obama nominated john brennan. his closest adviser on intelligence and
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counterterrorism matters for the past four years. mr. brennan is without a doubt qualified for this position. he served at the cia for 25 years. in analytical, managerial capacities. seen the agency from just about every angle. as a line analyst. as chief of station. as chief of staff to the director. and as the deputy executive director among many others. people who have worked closely with him regularly cite his work ethic. his sbintegrity and determinati. in nominating john brennan, president obama spoke of his, quote, commitment to the values that define us as americans. dni clapper in a letter of support noted his impeccable integrity and his commitment to country is second to none. so with unanimous consent, i would like to insert in to the record letters the committee has
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received in regard to mr. brennan's nomination. john brennan by all accounts will be a strong leader. guided firmly by the law and his strong ethical code. he's assured the committee in his response to prehearing questions he will be independent from political influence. he will seek only to provide the president, the congress and other leaders with his best analysis and advice. his responses to the committee's questions are available on the committee's website at intelligence.senate.gov. of course, the committee must conduct its due diligence on such an important nominee. so members are going to have questions in a range of topics, including his plans for directing the agency, major national security challenges we face, positions and actions he's taken in his current and past
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jobs. also of interest will be mr. brennan's views on the use of targeted lethal force in counterterrorism operations. mr. brennan has been one of the few administration officials able to speak publicly about such issues. members will certainly want to understand his views on this, include the importance of congress receiving all of the relevant legal analysis from the office of legal counsel at the department of justice. while the disclosure earlier this week of a 16-page unclassified white paper on the government's legal analysis of the use of targeted force against the united states citizen who was a senior operational leader of al qaeda, there's finally more information available to the public. i've been calling and others have been calling the vice chairman and i on the use of
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tar -- for increased transparency on the use of targeted force and the circumstances of which such force is directed against u.s. citizens and non-citizens alike. i have also been attempting to speak publicly about the very low number of civilian casualties that result from such strikes. i have been limited in my ability to do so. but for the past several years, this committee has done significant oversight of the government's conduct of targeted strikes and the figures we have obtained from the executive branch which we have done our utmost to verify confirm that the number of civilian casualty that is have resulted from such strikes each year has typically been in the single digits. when i asked to give out the actual numbers, i'm told you can't. now, i say why not? because it's classified.
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it's a covert program. for the public it doesn't exist. well, i think that rationale, mr. brennan, is long gone and i'm going to talk to you my questions a little bit about that because i think it's very important that we share this data with people. this committee will continue to perform significant oversight of targeted strikes. we received this morning an office of legal counsel opinion on the topic, actually we received a short one and a long one and while i was there i was delighted to see senator wyden reading, senator cain in the room, senator udall came in the room and i'm hopeful that every member will avail themselves of this opportunity to review those olc opinions. i also intend to review proposals for regulation -- excuse me. for legislation to ensure that drone strikes are carried out in
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a manner consistent with our values and the proposal to create an analog of the foreign intelligence surveillance court to review the conduct of such strikes. finally, i will want to know how the nominee intends to lead an agency that's had four directors since dci tenet resigned in july of '04. now in a budget downturn and what he sees as the major challenges before the cia. for the information of members we will have rounds of questions of eight minutes each and members will be recognized by seniority alternating between the sides. members have requested the opportunity to ask mr. brennan questions that will require classified answers, as well. so we have the ability to move to a classified session following this hearing if it is timely and we're able to do so. so my suggestion is to that we play that ear by ear, mr. vice
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chairman, and see if it's possible to do so. if it isn't, we will have a closed session on tuesday at our next hearing. finally, before turning to the vice chairman, i'd like to conclude my remarks the same i did at the confirmation for general petraeus. again, this time, the transition between cia directors has been managed by acting director michael morel. i would like to thank mr. morel for keeping the agency on firm footing and for his agreement to remain as deputy director after the confirmation process. he continues to be a top-notch cia officer, a friend of the committee and i'm sure he will be an excellent deputy, mr. brennan. mr. vice chairman, please proceed. >> thank you very much. mr. brennan, i join the chair in congratulating you on your nomination. welcoming you to the committee
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today. and i don't have to remind you because you are a career individual of the importance of your nomination to head the central intelligence agency. i also want to welcome your family and thank them for their support of you during your years of commitment to our government. also want to say as the chairman did that how much we appreciate mike morel and i'm very pleased to see that in your prepared statement you mention mike and his contribution to the central intelligence agency and that you intend to keep mike in place. he is a very valued public servant and a guy who's stepped in to very difficult situation now twice and has led with great leadership and provided the agency with what was needed. it will be your responsibility if confirmed to lead the cia as our nation continues to face
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significant national security challenges. while we have heard a lot in recent months about al qaeda being decimated and on the run it is by no means destroyed and the threat of terrorism especially in yemen and north africa remains very real. just in the past few months, terrorist attacks in algeria and benghazi claimed american lives. so it is clear that our vigilance must not waiver. at the same time, our attention focused beyond the threats posed by al qaeda and other terrorist organizations. from iran to north korea, to venezuela. from nuclear proliferation to cyber intrusions to counterintelligence. the challenges are constant and immense and the cia is at the point of the spear. as your predecessors faced similar challenges they recognized the importance of working hand in hand with congress, especially the congressional intelligence committees. i appreciated your commitment to me to be open and trance
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important with this committee if you are, in fact, confirmed as the next director. i expect this commitment to be bourn out in practice regardless of political pressures and not just become words spoken in the confirmation process. far too often the committee facing unnecessarily and frankly legally questionable obstacles in receiving needed oversight information from the intelligence committee. i also believe it's important for you to set the record straight on a few matters relating to detention policy and the cia's detention and interrogation program. we know that the 2009 executive order removed the cia from the detention business but the current framework is simply not working to get realtime access to intelligence from terrorist detainees. i reviewed elements of the 9/11 commission report in preparation
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for this hearing and i am concerned that the administration is making the same mistakes that were made before 9/11 when the cia missed vital information on ksm, the mastermind of the attacks and decided to forego a capture operation of osama bin laden. the commission cited the administration's focus on using the article iii court process as factors in both instances. you and i also discussed the committee's report on the cia's detention and interrogation program which was approved in december by a slim majority. you told me that you had completed your review of the report's executive summary and the findings and conclusions and you'll have an opportunity to express your observations and the concerns that you expressed to me with the rest of the committee today. mr. brennan, i thank you once again for your dedication and your service to our country. and we look forward to your testimony and from -- to your response to questions submitted
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by the committee. thank you. >> thank you, very much, mr. vice chairman and now senator mark warner. >> thank you, chairman feinstein and colleagues. it's my honor to introduce john brennan's as the president's nominee as the next director of the central intelligence agency. john now calls virginia home. it's been my privilege as a member of this committee for the last two years to represent many of the thousands of men and women in our intelligence agencies who also call virginia home. i would also make mention of the fact very briefly since we don't get this many opportunities in front of this kind of public audience to recognize an action that we took last congress that many of you joined with us on, that we'll reintroduce this year, a joint resolution to mark u.s. intelligence professionals
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day to bring respectful attention to these quiet professionals who keep our nation safe every day. and i look, again, look forward to working with you all to do the resolution again. these same qualities, dedication, selflessness, intelligence and patriotism are well represented in john brennan who the men and women of cia will find a dedicated leader if confirmed. while i have not worked with him as much as some of the other members, i have enjoyed our meeting together and as the chairman indicates, john brennan's long career of public service and record prepared him to be director of the cia. he served for 25 years at the agency in the field and at headquarters. including as deputy of executive of director in saudi arabia and as briefer to two presidents since 9/11. he's been on the front lines in the fight against al qaeda including standing up the
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national counterterrorism center. he has an appreciation for the member and women of the cia and the work they do often in the shadows to keep our nation safe. one thing that i was also impressed in the meeting is mr. brennan is an advocate for the greater transparency and for adherence to the rule of law. as a member and a new member of this oversight xhirt tee, i appreciate that. as the president said, the imperative to secure the nation must not come at the sacrifice of our laws or ideals. this needs never be an either/or choice. we can protect the nation and stay true to our principles. it's been raised by the chair and the vice chair, i think it's also important and these questions i'll be asking, as well, to ensure while we look at the programs of the cia the effectiveness is measured objectively and not just by those charged with implementing them. so chairman has gone through
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other parts of your background. i want to congratulate you. the service provided to the nation so far and in the aftermath of this hearing, hopefully the service you will provide on a going forward basis. with that, madame chairman, i'll come back and look forward to my chance to ask questions, as well. >> thank you very much, senator warner. mr. brennan, please stand, raise your right hand and i'll administer the oath, i john brennan do solemnly swear i will give this committee, the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth so help me god. thank you very much and we look forward to hearing your testimony. >> chairman, members of the committee, i am honored to appear before you today -- [ shouting ] >> as the president's nominee --
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>> will you halt, please? we'll ask the police to please remove this woman. thank you very much. please remove -- >> u.s. soldiers. it is not defending them. the number of soldiers killed by afghans who are -- mad at our program. >> i'm going to say once again that we welcome everyone here. that we expect no clapping, we expect no hissing. we expect no demonstration in this room. this is a very serious hearing. i will stop the hearing. and i will ask the room to be cleared. so know that. please continue, mr. brennan. >> thank you, chairman.
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i am honored to appear before you today as the president's nominee to lead the central intelligence agency. i'm grateful to president obama for the confidence he's placed in me by sending my name forward to the senate for consideration. senator warner, thank you for your generous introduction, for your service to our nation and for your strong support for those that defend it, this includes the men and women of the cia and the intelligence committee, so many of whom like me call virginia home and call you our senator. i would not be here today without the love and support of my wife cathy who's been my life partner for 34 years and who like the spouses of many other servants and intelligence professionals -- >> killed by a drone. >> made numerous sacrifices over the years. >> would you pause, mr. brennan? if you would remove that individual, please. as quickly as you can. thank you. >> you can say -- stand up
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against drones. do what we can to not confirm this man. >> mr. brennan, please proceed. >> my wife cathy who like the spouses of many others has made numerous sacrifices over the years, bearing the brunt of family responsibilities because of my chosen profession. similarly, i would like to pay tribute to my three children who like the children of many cia officers and other security professionals had to deal with the disappointments associated with an absentee parent far often than they should and i'm very pleased to be joined by my wife cathy and brother tom. >> i speak for the mothers -- >> all right. we'll stop again. >> in yemen, pakistan, somalia and who else -- who else? anywhere else. >> please remove that woman. >> and the obama administration refuse to tell congress! they won't even tell congress what country we are killing children in. >> please. >> senator feinstein -- >> if you could expedite the
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removal. >> the children of pakistan and yemen. are they more important? do your job! world peace depends on it! we're making more enemies. >> please proceed. mr. brennan, the next time we're going to clear the chamber. and bring people back in one by one. this witness is entitled to be heard, ladies and gentlemen. so please give him that opportunity. >> thank you. a heart felt thank you also goes to my family in new jersey, my mother and father who emigrated from ireland nearly 65 years ago. >> pakistan and, mr. brennan, if you don't know who they are i have the list. i have the list of all the names and the ages. >> all right. i'm going to -- we're going to halt the hearing. i'm going to ask that the room be cleared and that the code pink associates not be permitted
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to come back in. i've done this five times now and five times are enough. so we'll recess. for a few minutes. >> we are watching the room be cleared at the senate confirmation hearing for john brennan. senator dianne feinstein saying she's been interrupted five times and another protester holding up a banner. senator feinstein noting code pink for the repeated interruptions of this hearing saying that brennan deserves -- let's listen in. >> we will recess for a few minutes. >> the room is being cleared and -- here with me, domenico, we see interruptions from time to time. up to five according to senator feinstein. she is now clearing the room to
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allow people back in. what is your take? >> i counted five as well as just taking notes sitting here and listening in. obviously, you know, she called out the code pink protesters saying she wouldn't let them back in. they have been to a lot of hearings before where they have gotten themselves in. i don't remember it happening five times. >> yeah. >> or a chairperson having to clear the room. like she just had to do. you saw one woman who was escorted out had a sign that said "brennan equals drone killing." another saying she speaks for the children of somalia, yemen and pakistan. >> one with the last name of aziz, the 16-year-old. a lot of people questioning the drone -- the legality of it, point to this young man. 16 with his father when they were killed i believe the details there. the different signs and still there keep an eye on the screen and there's still commotion as the individuals are removed. you know far better than i.
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we have not seen this since i'm covering and doing this. >> yeah, look. a lot of hearings especially surrounding the issue of torture and enhanced interrogation techniques. you have seen code pink try to get in to the hearings and be excourted out. five is a lot. you know? there are serious questions to be asked and that's what senator feinstein is getting at to try to ask the questions. now, they're not -- they say they won't let them back in and then proposal resume the hearing i'd assume in a few minutes to get some of that information that we all are anticipating getting some of really the most public airing of what actually is happening with this drone policy so that these senators can be able to ask some of those questions to know, you know, just where is this taking place? you heard senator feinstein in the opening statement i thought interestingly saying she's calling for more transparency on this issue. >> she noted she is calling for
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more transparency and the timing of the hearing with the information that isikoff broke and coin side and basing it on the 16-page document of that information as a catalyst to point out in her opening remarks she would be asking for more questions regarding transparency and more information. kelly o'donnell is standing by. kelly, what are you hearing regarding the frequent interruptions and now the room cleared? >> reporter: this really is unusual, tamron, to have protesters of this scope. there certainly are people who set their sights on these hearings because they have a message to deliver. and they go about a strategy to make a statement and interrupt and generally speaking, members of congress recognize that as a part of the normal discourse. we saw some of it at john kerry's confirmation. it does happen. the amount here is unusual and the result for the chairman dianne feinstein to clear the room is unusual. this isn't a surprise in the
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sense that this would be the subject matter that would certainly attract a lot of protesters on these issues and the human rights community, an advocate in that area, have been so strong in concerns about this and when you were talking about the concerns that senator dianne feinstein expressed privately, she has had access to a lot of the nation's secrets for a long time and she's a good steward of those sekretds and so her desire for more transparency is very significant and talking to senators and often did not rise to the kind of public attention it's getting now, but there's sort of determined effort and i'm talking about liberal democrats, progressives to press the administration for more information and for them this is in a sense -- >> i hate to interrupt you. i'm sorry. let's listen in as senator dianne feinstein -- >> my parents, owen, emigrated
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to this country 65 years ago and raised my sister, my brother and i to cherish the opportunity known as america. as i appear before you today, i would additionally trike to extend a special salute to david petraeus, a form eer director. i want to express my admiration of my close friend and colleague, mike morel twice guided the cia with a steady hand, integrity and exceptional skill. if confirmed it would be a distinct privilege to work side by side with michael, my friend and the epitome of an intelligence professional in the months and years ahead. it would be a tremendous privilege to serve with the director of national intelligence jim clapper who's mentored legions of professionals since his service in vietnam. as an adviser and head of the community, jim is a person of
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longstanding and deep experience and integrity. we share views on the role of intelligence and the importance of giving current and future generations of intelligence professionals the support they need and that they so richly deserve. it would be the greatest honor of my professional life to lead the women and men of the central intelligence agency. the agency where i started my career nearly 33 years ago and where i served for a quarter century. a 24-year-old fresh out of graduate school, i arrived at langley in august, 1980, as a gs-9 determined to do my part as an intelligence officer. when i joined the cia in august 1980, world events were unsettled. our embassy in teheran had been overrun the year before and 52 americans were still being held hostage by a radical new government in iran. the soviet invasion of afghanistan was less than a year old and the next decade we witnessed the slow but ste

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